Fire Crackers

Saltines get even saltier (and spicier!) in this easy snack recipe

Fire Crackers

The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Marinating Time: : 60 mins
Total: 85 mins
Servings: 11 to 15 servings
Yield: 78 crackers
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
218 Calories
17g Fat
15g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 11 to 15
Amount per serving
Calories 218
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 266mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 34mg 3%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 63mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Saltine crackers are a top five, go-to snack I reach for whether it’s late-night munchies, a stomach soother, or bite between meals. Recently, I learned how chefs are taking this common household staple and turning it into a fine-dining delicacy called fire crackers.

What Are Fire Crackers?

It’s a trend spreading like wildfire for both restaurants and home cooks. This might even be your favorite bar nosh at your local haunt—sometimes going by “ice water saltines'' or “soufflé crackers.” Think of seasoned oyster crackers, but so much crispier. With a little marinade of oil and seasonings these crackers are a blank canvas for exploring various flavors and textures.

How Do You Make Fire Crackers?

You might be thinking, “Why would I waste my time on soggy crackers?” The secret lies in a few things. The OG cracker’s dry structure gives it a stable texture that withstands the marinade. After a quick swim in the dressing, we bake the crackers into a crunchy, finger-licking snack that tastes light on the palate.

How To Make Fire Crackers Your Way

We decided to bake our version for less fuss and mess, but you could deep-fry these in a skillet with high sides. We provide our favorite spice combo below, but you can use any store-bought or homemade blend—you could even coat half in one seasoning and half in another.

How To Serve Fire Crackers

Serve fire crackers on their own or with an array of dips for a craveable party appetizer with the least amount of effort. They make a great accompaniment to creamy dips like salmon dip, pickle dip, and pimento cheese. Or serve them alongside soup. Fire crackers are the perfect cocktail party snack, as their robust flavor stands up well to alcoholic beverages.

Tips for Making Fire Crackers

  • You can adjust the spice level in this recipe by increasing or decreasing the chili crisp amount. 
  • The marination time is crucial to allow the flavors to seep into the crackers. The crackers will not go soggy.
  • Waiting to drizzle the chili crisp solids on top until partway through baking ensures they won't burn. You want the crisp! Just not that crisp.

"I'm always looking for new ways to use chili crisp, and these Fire Crackers are going into my spicy snack collection—I can't wait to share them with friends and family! The crackers were easy to make and bake, and the miso, garlic, and five spice gave them a unique flavor and pleasant fragrance." —Diana Rattray

Fire Crackers
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 cup oil (olive, sunflower, canola, or peanut oil are all good options)

  • 2 tablespoons Chinese five-spice powder

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons white miso

  • 1 rounded tablespoon chili crisp, or fried chili in oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt, more to taste

  • 2 sleeves unsalted Saltine crackers (about 78 crackers total)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. 

    Ingredients to make fire crackers

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  2. Add the oil, Chinese five-spice, garlic, miso, chili crisp, and salt to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Transfer to a large resealable bag. 

    A lock top bag with oil, Chinese five-spice, garlic, miso, chili crisp, and salt

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  3. Add the crackers to the bag, reseal, and gently shake to evenly coat. Set the bag inside a baking dish or rimmed baking sheet (to catch any drips in case the bag leaks) and let the crackers marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight. Gently shake the bag occasionally to recoat the crackers.

    A lock top bag of crackers in seasoned oil on a baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  4. Position two racks in the oven and heat to 300 F. Lay the crackers evenly across 2 parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets, leaving the chunks of chili crisp behind. It’s ok if the crackers overlap slightly. Set the bag with oil and chili crisp chunks aside.

    A parchment-lined baking sheet with seasoned crackers

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  5. Bake the crackers for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and use a slotted spoon to gather up any chili crisp chunks from the marinade and scatter them all over the crackers, adding more chili crisp chunks as needed. This is to ensure the chunks don’t burn before the crackers are done.

    A parchment-lined baking sheet with seasoned crackers topped with pieces of chile

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  6. Continue to bake until the crackers are crisp, golden, and any oil is dried up, about 10 more minutes.

    A parchment-lined baking sheet of baked fire crackers

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  7. Let the crackers cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Serve on their own or with your favorite dip.

    Fire crackers on a cooling rack

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

How to Store Fire Crackers

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Recipe Variations

  • Though our love for Saltines is strong, you can use any kind of cracker like Wheat Thins or Ritz crackers. 
  • Seasonings Galore! Add any of the following to the marinade:
  • Ranch dressing packet
  • Old Bay
  • Za'atar
  • Curry seasoning
  • Steak seasoning
  • Taco seasoning
  • Italian blend: 1 tablespoon finely chopped anchovy, 2 tablespoons pesto, 1 teaspoon red pepper flake, 1 teaspoon lemon zest